NBN Co, the company overseeing the construction and management of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), has called on customers in a number of locations to ensure that they are prepared for the impending switch off of copper-based services. A three-month countdown for those living in a number of ‘First Release site’ areas has been issued, with NBN Co urging customers in disconnection areas to contact their existing service providers with a view to ordering a service offered over the NBN’s fibre-based infrastructure.
A switch-off date of 23 May 2014 has been set for these locations, at which date services will ceased to be offered over fixed line incumbent Telstra’s infrastructure. The locations in question are: Kiama (2,369 eligible premises to be affected); Armidale (4,680 premises); Melbourne (around 5,000 premises); Tasmania (around 8,478 eligible premises within the Deloraine, Kingston Beach, Sorell, George Town, St Helens and Triabunna areas); Townsville (2,875 premises); and Willunga (1,060 premises).
Commenting on the development, NBN Co spokesperson Darren Rudd was cited as saying: ‘We are committed to ensuring local residents and businesses are aware and have the necessary information needed ahead of migration to the new infrastructure. Since November 2012, NBN Co has sent at least four forms of communication including local advertising, community information sessions and direct mail to each serviceable premise … The move is not automatic. Residents and businesses need to move their landline and internet services over to the NBN if they wish to continue using them. They have a choice whether to switch across to the NBN or to make do with mobile or other wireless solutions.’